SB (Stage Box) form factor for SQ-serie

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This topic contains 79 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59 Alex_Petrov_59 5 days, 9 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 80 total)
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  • #101072
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    No need to apologize for difficulty wiTh the English language: I have trouble deciphering some of these posts and English is my only language. I will try to be more clear for the reasons supporting my request;

    1) The primary difference between a pair if DX168s and a CDN32 is the inclusion of the FPGA & accompanying ancillary processing in the stage box and an
    increase in the street price from 2K to more than 6K. IMO, price point is a big deal for most of our entry level and/or convenience buyers.
    2) The design concept of a QUsb or the proposed SQsb is a stage box with internal processing and therein the major problem resides. For many reasons
    processing and the attendant controls need to be housed in a separate device. For starters a DX hub can will deliver a DX32 and several DX168s to the
    existing SQ5. Placing the processing in a stage box creates a one trick pony that is totally unnecessary and pretty much denies the possibility of
    easy expansion.
    3) In the event a self contained SQ stage box, like the QUsb, is made available it certainly will have both cat 6 connectivity capability and the
    popular WIfi controls that we all use and enjoy. So the bottom line is some form of control device will be deployed and the primary question is, what
    functions should it include in order to offer the greatest amount of portability, flexibility and affordability.
    Hugh

    #101095
    Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59
    Alex_Petrov_59
    Participant

    Dear Hugh,
    Maybe you would like to have not a simple stage box with SQ5 inside and S-Link for expansion possibility, and place for extention card (with expansion possibility)… but for me and, I think, for most small bands it would be quite enough. I need only one simple unit for all my mixing tasks, including IEM… Simple SQ-SB stage box with back side of SQ5 mixer but with XLR/TRS inputs would be for me optimal. Additional knobs, joysticks, monitor and other mechanical/electronical futures are not only source of additional breakages but more high price for the unit. Simple box – for simple mixing tasks builted like a tank.

    #101097
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    I own an X32 Rack with the X-Dante Card. And even before I got the X-Touch it was more or less a swiss army knive for a lot of tasks related to sound engineering. I see these benefits at the X32 Rack.
    1) At least with the X32 Edit Application I can handle all aspects of the mixer without having physical contact to the mixer. But, because the network protocol is well known, there are other, 3rd party, applications to handle several tasks.
    2) The X32 allows me to use an extension card to use Dante, Waves, Madi and so on
    3) With the two AES50 Ports (similar to Slink, or at least dSnake) I am able to build more complex setups with several X32.
    4) since the remote capabilities are very good I can use several hardware controller to control the mixer.

    So, now I can use this X32 Rack as standalone mixer when the available space for a larger console is not provided, controlled by table/PC only or with some hardware controller like the X-Touch, as a stagebox for other mixers(with remote HA control if I want), as a fallback mixer, a simple audio interface for my home PC and many more.

    So a similar SQ format would not be a one trick pony when the concept of the X32 Rack is used as a blue print for the SQ Rack. I know, that “lending” ideas from other vendors might be sen as not appropriate but it may help to have more success on the market.

    So, this is my opinion to the form factor discussion here

    #101103
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    We must keep in mind the fact that a 24/48 protocol pretty much puts the X32 in the A&H’s QU ball park. There have been hundreds of threads discussing the relative pros and cons of each of these offerings however they are both a world apart from the 24/96K, XCIV processing made available in the SQ5. Allen & Heath stands alone, at it’s price point, in offering this level of world class sonic quality. If we are going to advance suggestions for deploying X32 features in a self contained stage box then making those features available in a QUsb is the discussion we should be having: lets maintain an apples to apples comparative discussion.
    Keith, in post #100317, explained the reason a CDN32 has a MSRP of 7K: the inclusion of a computer, in that 32 channel stage box, that houses all of the XCVI processing raises the price point exponentially. This is where the rubber hits the road: adding the price tag of an SQ5 to the DX168 puts us above a 4K price point that is 4 times greater than the existing 1K for a QUsb.
    Here is my question to those of you that are requesting a SQsb stage box: Do you presently own and use a QUsb and, if not, are you willing to invest an additional 3K more than the price of a QUsb for a SQsb. I bought my QUsb many years ago, when they first were released, and I ultimately discovered my needs were much greater that the qusb “one trick pony” could provide. World class sonic quality comes with a price tag: the question all of us continually deal with is the quality/value balance that will eventually determine what we buy, what we sell and what we keep.
    Hugh

    #101104
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    I still think that there are two different things being requested here. Both are valid requests!

    There’s Hugh’s SQ with limited I/O built in which I assume is not *very* difficult to do, as it’s just removing parts from an existing product. If I was putting a new system together, I’m sure that’s what I’d choose to get.

    Then the SQ stage box most of the rest of us seem to want, which would be a new form factor, even if it’s just a 4U rack mount, and would need SQ Mix Pad app to be updated to a full controller (as happened to Qu-Pad when the Pac first came out).

    To answer Hugh’s question, I own a Qu-Pac (thought usually don’t look at or touch the front panel). Would I pay 3k more for an SQ-SB product? – maybe not, I think that may be too much. But I’d be surprised if it did cost that much. Both Qu-Pac & SB cost less that the Qu-16, though have the processing of the 32 available, so I’d expect a 16 preamp SQ-SB to cost a little less than an SQ5. Premium preamps would obviously bump the price up, but as there’s already ways of buying these, I’d not expect the to be part of this product.

    #101110
    Profile photo of DB
    DB
    Participant

    MarkPAman

    I think you’re completely right. Personally I think the second option is a better “entry level” mixer which is exactly why QU SB/Pac were so populair. The first option is a bit more focused on the professional market. As MarkPAman stated, you would expect SQ SB/Pac not to cost more than a SQ5. The need of additional stageboxes would easily exceed that pricetag, which would put off a lot of potential buyers in the “entry level” market.

    For that second option, I think the big question is whether we want some physical controls or not. What do you guys think about how the front face should look like? Or no controls at all and make it compatible with IP8 / IP6??? Or make two versions like SB and Pac? Questions questions…….

    Regarding I/O I think most people agree that SQ5 is a good starting point? With some expansion capabilities like a card slot as fitted on the SQ5.

    #101117
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Hello markPAman,
    There are two primary reasons the QUsb was a good seller: 1) a very low $1,000. price point, & 2) Max convenience for “set it & leave it” gigs.
    Obviously the driving reason a lot of us would prefer a 16/8 stage box imbedded with all of the SQ 24/96K XCIV vastly improved processing, over the existing QUsb, is that it performs much better. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, the quest for “better” is now and always has been a production and consumption constant. The balance between quality and price point is the real tension surrounding this thread that has been running for more than six months. Price point speculation has no empirical limits, however here is what we do know:

    1) The $1,000. price point of a QUsb reflects the retail value of QU quality processing and 16 QU ins & outs with their converters.
    2) The $7,000. price point of a CDN32 reflects the retail value of 32 D-Live I/Os & converters along with the XCIV processing platform.
    3) The know value of 16 D-Live ins and 8 outs with converters is reflected in the price point of the DX168 (APX $1,000.)

    If you cut the CDN32 I/O count in half, down to 16/8, that would drop the price tag down to $6,000. and if we extrapolate the reduced value of SQ pre & op amps. we drop the price point of an SQsb down another $500. to $5,5oo. If we further adjust the price point down $1,000. to account for the extra D-Live bells and whistles in the CDN32, we are still at a $4,500. price point for a high quality “one trick pony” SQsb. What we want and what we are willing to pay for are two different things that are unlikely to intersect in this case. If you are a willing buyer at the 4k price point sign up today, that could be very meaningful to the decision makers: However in the event you are trolling for QU pricing with SQ quality you are dreaming the impossible dream!
    Hugh

    #101119
    Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59
    Alex_Petrov_59
    Participant

    About potential price – I’d like to offer you more pleasant view on it… (I hope A&H makes the same or better, but not worse!)
    According Sweetwater price list in USD you can calculate determinations for QU serie as following:
    Qu-16 % down Qu-Pac % down QU-SB
    1800 13,89 1550 38,89 1100

    After extrapolation this formula on SQ serie we will get:
    SQ-5 % down SQ-Pac % down SQ-SB
    3200 13,89 2756 38,89 1956

    So, for SQ-Pac=2756 USD, for SQ-SB=1956 USD… not bad. I like this reasonable price. Because inside of SQ serie a little other structure compare to CDN32 – less FX Buses, not free of charge Deep Procesing…

    #101120
    Profile photo of DB
    DB
    Participant

    I think nobody expects SQ SB/Pac to be at the same pricepoint as QU SB/Pac. However there is a gap between that and the price of an SQ5. IMO that is where the price of a SQ rack version should be. The SQ5 is also more expensive than a QU16, but making the SQ rack version more expensive than an SQ5 wouldn’t really make sense if you ask me. I agree your idea of a stagebox controller would be great but I don’t think it has to wear the “SQ rack version” badge.

    #101121
    Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59
    Alex_Petrov_59
    Participant

    +100%

    #101123
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Perhaps another look into the limited functional control the sq can offer with an I-Pad control of the XCVI platform. There are many differences in the QU platform and it’s ability to package well as a stand alone wifi controlled stage box when the expanded features of the SQ are really understood. It is not as simple as some would have you believe: however at least we have at this point established the OP’s acceptable price point of apx. 2K for the proposed SQsb.
    Hugh

    #101124
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    Agreed that any SQ-SB type product would need a tablet/computer app that fully controls everything, and that’s probably a much bigger part of the R&D process that the hardware. This would be a potential benefit to all SQ users, adding value to the existing products as well as enabling the new one.

    #101127
    Profile photo of Alex_Petrov_59
    Alex_Petrov_59
    Participant

    Hugh,
    one idea for you – ask A&H to improve AHM64 for your needs: to make it cheaper remove all inputs and outputs from the device, maybe add one more S-Link… and you will get brain-box of d-Live without I/O!

    #101128
    Profile photo of Mfk0815
    Mfk0815
    Participant

    As I said before, take the X32 rack as a blue print (forget the difference like Sampling rate and internal processing architecure, nobody should care about that in a form factor discussion), find out the pro of that platform, good app support, remoting support, good basis for interoperability, and combine it with the pro of the SQ series. No one will expect a dLive like mixrack for the SQ series.
    Again, remove the physical controls of the surface part ofthe SQ, put the rest into a 19“ rack housing and extendthe SQ Mixpad app to let us control the whole mixer. That eould be a good starting point for a SQ-SB. The price might be between the half or two third of the SQ5, similar to QU-16 to QU-SB, or the QU-32 to QU-PAC.
    I do not think that the IP8 would be an option to control the mixer, since it price is too high to be used for the SQ series. Add a support of MCU to the SQ Mixpad ab and everything would be fine. You can try it out with David Schumann‘s MixingStation.

    #101154
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    Please do not confuse my small SQ5 change request with suggestions to modify a AHM64 with it’s high priced “Micky Mouse 60MM faders” or to deploy a $15,000. CDN32 with a C-1500 controller or pattern a new SQ air version similar to the new Midas Heritage – D Air that is rumored to also carry a price point of $15,000. (the fact is, it is patterned after the Digigrid/Waves LV1 I use every day in my studio) None of these offerings would suit my needs as well as my current SQ5 does! The change I requested is related to the decision to put all performance I/Os on stage, or in the tracking room, with a DX168 & DX32 “Prime loaded” stage boxes. This has rendered the SQ5’s performance XLRs redundant and not necessary. The form factor and tactile operation of the SQ5 suits me very well and is working quite well with my stage boxes.
    Several years ago I invested in a complete Digigrid/Waves LV1 system for my project studio including two 23 inch touch screens. Tracking, Mixing and Mastering with my Studio One DAW and Faderport 8 has been more rewarding than I expected. However the outstanding sonic quality of the DX168’s I/Os, and currently the new Primes, made a Waves I/O card an attractive option for my studio capture as well. IMO the years of R&D A&H has invested in the vast improvement of analog front end capture with pre & op amps and their associated converters has created a new sonic frontier for the brand. Optimizing the new prime and D-Live I/Os to synergistically utilize the magnificent XCVI processing platform is a really big deal that makes isolating all performance capture and distribution to stage boxes located where the performance is originated a no brainer. It is very clear to me this is the A&H brand direction and IMO there is very little indication they will be a player in the price point race to the bottom of the market.
    To this end if A&H could have arranged a total WIFI implementation of the XCVI platform we would have it available with the current SQ line. But alas it must be some what like trying to put a size 12 foot in a size 9 shoe; it won’t work very well.
    Hugh
    (I have said all I need to say about a proposed SQsb. The QUsb is still a viable entry level product)

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